Chicken Caprese salad is a delicious and fresh summer salad made with grilled chicken, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and a simple dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It takes the classic Caprese salad up a notch by adding protein-packed grilled chicken. The flavors of the tomatoes, cheese and basil really shine thanks to the simple ingredients. It’s easy to throw together but looks and tastes gourmet. Chicken Caprese salad is perfect for lunches, summer gatherings or light dinners. Read on to learn how to make this tasty salad!

Ingredients for Chicken Caprese Salad

Chicken Breasts

Chicken breasts provide lean protein and a perfect canvas for the fresh flavors of the Caprese salad. You’ll need about 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. Grill or cook the chicken breasts until no longer pink inside and the juices run clear. Let the cooked chicken cool before dicing into bite-sized pieces.

Some tips for cooking juicy, flavorful chicken breasts:

  • Pat the chicken dry before seasoning to help it brown properly
  • Coat both sides with a little olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper
  • Grill over medium-high heat for 4-6 minutes per side until cooked through
  • Or bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes until no pink remains inside


Cherry or grape tomatoes add sweetness and bright fresh flavor. You’ll need about 2 cups of halved cherry tomatoes or 1-2 large tomatoes sliced or cut into chunks. Make sure the tomatoes you choose are ripe and juicy for the best results. Heirloom tomatoes offer amazing flavor if you can find them.

Some of the best tomatoes to use include:

  • Cherry tomatoes – sweet and pop with flavor when bitten
  • Grape tomatoes – similar to cherry but a little more oblong shaped
  • Campari tomatoes – a little larger, round, and sweet
  • Roma or plum tomatoes – meaty texture and few seeds
  • Heirloom varieties like Brandywine or Green Zebra – unique flavor and appearance


Fresh basil is essential for that authentic Caprese flavor. Use around 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves. Look for vibrant green leaves without any dark spots. Tear the basil into pieces rather than chopping to prevent bruising and preserve flavor. Basil offers a sweet, peppery taste that pairs perfectly with the tomatoes and mozzarella. Genovese is the classic basil variety used in Caprese salad but others like lemon basil or Thai basil also work well.


Fresh mozzarella cheese pairs perfectly with the tomatoes and basil. For this salad you’ll want about 8 ounces of mozzarella cut into 1-inch cubes or balls. Water-packed mozzarella (“fresh mozzarella”) has a softer, creamier texture than low moisture block mozzarella. Get the freshest mozzarella you can find for maximum flavor.

Olive Oil

Good quality extra virgin olive oil lets the flavors of the salad shine. Use about 1/4 cup of olive oil for the dressing. Look for a fruitier, peppery olive oil rather than a mild buttery one. Tuscan olive oil is a great choice.

Balsamic Vinegar

Aged balsamic vinegar adds tangy sweetness to balance the salad. Use around 2 tablespoons of good quality thick, syrupy balsamic. Aceto balsamico tradizionale offers an amazing depth of flavor.

ALSO READ: Keto Southwest Chicken Salad Recipe With Lime Dressing

Instructions for Making Chicken Caprese Salad

Grill or Cook the Chicken

Start by grilling, sauteing or baking 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts until fully cooked and no longer pink inside. seasoning them well with salt and pepper. Here are more details on cooking the chicken:

  • Preheat your grill or a grill pan to medium-high heat. If baking, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Pat the chicken dry and rub both sides with a little olive oil. Generously season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill for 4-6 minutes per side until cooked through and the juices run clear. Or bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before dicing into bite-sized pieces.

Assemble the Ingredients

While the chicken cooks, assemble the veggies and cheese:

  • Wash and dry the tomatoes. Cut grape or cherry tomatoes in half or tomatoes into 1-inch chunks.
  • Remove basil leaves from stems. Tear leaves into pieces rather than chopping.
  • Cut mozzarella into 1-inch cubes or balls.

Make the Dressing

In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar to make the dressing:

  • Use about 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar.
  • Add a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk until blended.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Toss and Serve

Add the chicken, tomatoes, basil and mozzarella to a large bowl. Pour over the vinaigrette and gently toss until everything is evenly coated. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve the chicken Caprese salad immediately for the freshest flavor and texture. Enjoy!

Tips for the Best Chicken Caprese Salad

Follow these tips for making the most delicious, restaurant-worthy chicken Caprese salad at home:

Use Fresh, High-Quality Ingredients

Quality ingredients really make all the difference in this simple salad. Be sure to use:

  • Ripe, juicy tomatoes – heirlooms or cherry tomatoes pack the most flavor
  • Fresh, fragrant basil leaves – don’t use dried basil
  • Authentic mozzarella cheese – fresh, not pre-shredded low-moisture mozzarella
  • Flavorful extra virgin olive oil – preferably a grassy, peppery variety
  • Aged balsamic vinegar – find a thick, syrupy aged vinegar

Season the Chicken Well

The chicken needs enough salt and pepper to make it tasty. Be generous with seasoning the chicken before cooking for the most flavor.

Use Complementary Tomatoes

Choose tomatoes that offer great flavor as well as texture. Roma tomatoes and cherry tomatoes work very well in this salad.

Tear the Basil

Ripping or tearing the basil leaves rather than chopping them prevents bruising and keeps the flavor vibrant.

Cut Even Sized Pieces

Cut the mozzarella and tomatoes into uniform 1-inch sized pieces so everything blends together nicely.

Make the Dressing Fresh

Mix up the olive oil and balsamic vinegar right before assembling the salad for the best, brightest flavor.

Don’t Overmix the Salad

Gently toss just until the ingredients are coated in the vinaigrette to avoid breaking down the basil and tomatoes.

Chill before Serving

For best texture and flavors, cover and refrigerate the assembled salad for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Garnish with Extra Basil

Add a few whole basil leaves over the top just before serving for a pop of color and flavor.

Following these simple tips will ensure your chicken Caprese salad tastes as delicious as it looks! The fresh ingredients really get to shine when handled with care.

Enjoying Chicken Caprese Salad

Chicken Caprese salad is endlessly adaptable. Try using different varieties of tomatoes or add other ingredients like arugula or olives. You can skip the chicken for a vegetarian take. Top with avocado or grilled shrimp. Drizzle with pesto instead of balsamic for a flavor twist. Serve as a light dinner or bring to a summer potluck. However you make it, Chicken Caprese salad is the perfect way to enjoy the fresh flavors of summer!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use dried basil instead of fresh?

No, dried basil has a very different flavor from fresh. Fresh basil is essential for an authentic Caprese flavor.

What kind of tomatoes work best?

Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, or ripe heirloom varieties work great. Avoid unripe tomatoes or watery types like beefsteak.

Should the chicken be warm or cold?

Either works! You can use warm just-cooked chicken or chilled pre-cooked chicken in the salad.

Can I prepare this salad in advance?

Yes, prep the ingredients up to 2 days ahead. Dress and assemble the salad right before serving.

What can I serve with this salad?

It goes great with crusty bread, roasted veggies or potatoes, pasta salad, or zucchini fries.


Chicken Caprese salad combines juicy grilled chicken with the classic flavors of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. Taking just a few simple ingredients, it makes for a delicious, easy summery salad the whole family will love. Follow the tips above for preparing the very best Chicken Caprese salad.

Myra Henry created the Keto Taco Salad blog to share my favorite delicious low-carb recipes without sacrificing flavor. when i started the keto diet 2 years ago, I discovered a love for making healthy Mexican dishes like keto taco salads. My blog features easy keto taco salad recipes and tips for keto success.

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